Ten unique cameras from the dawn of consumer digital photography

When we're using our 36 Megapixel digital SLRs with large LCDs, fast burst modes, and full HD video recording, we often forget how far things have come. Back in the early days of consumer digital cameras, it was a treat to have an LCD or movie recording capability. There were also cameras that have features that, well, seem a bit odd when you look back at them.

As some of you may know, I ran the Digital Camera Resource Page for fifteen years before joining the DPReview team in February 2013.  Over all those years, I've seen virtually every camera introduced, and some have remained in my memory for one reason or another.

Let's journey back in time to revisit some cameras that stood out from the crowd, starting at the beginning of the digital camera revolution. I apologize in advance for the quality of most of the product shots. Don't forget that the cameras taking the product shots weren't great, either! 

Casio QV-10 (1995)

The QV-10 was one of the first consumer digital cameras, following in the footsteps of the Apple QuickTake 100 and 150. It was introduced in 1995, which is three years before Phil Askey created this website, and has features still found on cameras in 2013. It had a fixed focus, rotating F2.0 lens, which was equivalent to 60mm. The rotating lens design would later be copied by virtually every other camera manufacturer over the next ten years. Any why not? It was a great idea. The price in 1995 was around $750, which was considered a bargain at that time.

The QV-10 was the first consumer digital camera, and introduced features still found on cameras today.

Photos were captured by a 1/5" CCD, which produced photos at a gigantic resolution of 320 x 240. The QV-10 had no memory card, instead saving photos (which Casio called 'pages') to its 16Mbit (2MB) of built-in memory. Cameras of this era didn't capture movies.

Photos were composed on a 1.8-inch TFT display with 61,380 dots. A dial on the bottom of the camera could be used to adjust the screen brightness. My, how times have changed. [Photo credit: The Verge]

The QV-10's main exposure mode was aperture priority. If you didn't want to shoot at F2, you could flip a switch and you were at F8. It also offered 'exposure adjustment', which manipulated the shutter speed. The camera had a fixed focus distance, but a switch allowed you to enter macro mode.

If you wanted to take a flash photo, you were out of luck. That feature wouldn't arrive for another three years, on the QV-770. 

When it came time to get your photos off of the camera, you had to use a proprietary cable that connected to your computer's RS-232 port. You can tell how old the QV-10 is by seeing references to 'video printers' in the manual.

If you want a QV-10 for yourself, good luck - I couldn't find any for sale on eBay. If you want to read a review of the camera from that time, head over to Phil Wherry's website.

Ricoh RDC-1 (1996)

The Ricoh RDC-1 has the distinction of being the first digital camera to have a movie mode. Its video recording capabilities are almost laughable in 2013 terms, but back then this was high-end. The RDC-1 could record five second clips at 768 x 480 (30 fps), with sound no less. The 24MB of memory built into the camera would fill up after just four videos. This technology came at a cost: the RDC-1 was priced in the neighborhood of $1500.

The RDC-1 looked somewhat like a 110 film camera. [Photo credit: Mr. Martin] A 2.5" LCD was optional, and attached to the side of the body. [Photo credit: Mr. Martin]

Other details are a little sketchy. The RDC-1 had a 0.38 megapixel CCD and a 3X optical zoom lens, though we were unable to find the focal range (if you know, please leave a comment below). Like most cameras at this time, the RDC-1 used PCMCIA cards for storage. It also supported a wireless remote control, which was less common.

Ricoh would use this design for several years, culminating with the RDC-i700, which let you operate the camera with a stylus. It even supported a modem or 'wireless phone card' for sharing images. You could even adjust the i700's settings from your web browser.

Sony Mavica (1997-2003)

The Sony Mavica line began in 1997 with the release of the MVC-FD5 and FD7, which were priced at (roughly) $500 and $700, respectively. Both cameras recorded onto 1.44MB, 3.5" floppy disks, which were found in every computer in that day. Getting your photos onto your Mac or PC couldn't be easier, with no cable required. Each disk held between 15 and 40 VGA-size pictures.

The MVC-FD5 was the first digital camera to use floppy disks as storage. [Photo credit: PC Watch]

The FD5 was the basic model, with a fixed F2.0 lens, equivalent to 47mm. The FD7, on the other hand, had an F1.8-2.9, 10X zoom lens equivalent to 40 - 400mm. While the FD5 required you to flip a switch to shoot close-ups, the FD7 had an auto macro mode, which is common on modern digital cameras. Photos were composed on a 2.5" LCD which had 61,380 dots. Both cameras had built-in flashes.

The MVC-FD5/FD7 used 3.5", 1.44MB floppy disks as storage. [Photo credit: PC Watch] The two cameras had 2.5" LCDs and even a four-way controller. [Photo credit: PC Watch]

Believe it or not, these two old cameras had both scene modes and picture effects. Yep, in 1997 you could turn on 'sports lesson' mode, or create a 'pastel' image.

As camera resolution increased, Sony realized that a floppy drive just wasn't going to cut it. The MVC-FD92 had a 1.3 megapixel sensor, and you could only fit five or six photos on the disk. Sony's solution was to add a Memory Stick slot to its floppy-based cameras. A 16MB Memory Stick could store a whopping 24 photos. You could get photos off of the camera using USB or, if you really love floppy disks, use Sony's MSAC-FD2MA Memory Stick adapter.

The massive MVC-CD1000 was the first Mavica to use 3-inch CD-R discs. You'll also notice that it sports an electronic viewfinder. The CD1000 retailed for a whopping $1300.  [Photo credit: Digital Camera Resource Page]

Sony's next move was to switch from floppy disks to CDs. Not just any CDs, though. These were 156MB. 3-inch CD-R discs which, of course, weren't compatible with most CD-ROM drives of that era. Sony didn't forget about that issue, and included a 3-inch to 5-inch adapter.  Not only did these CDs hold a lot of data, they were also very inexpensive. Back in the year 2000, a 160MB CompactFlash card was over $350, while Sony sold the CD-R discs for about $4 a pop.

Astute readers may have already picked up on what the problem was with using CD-R discs. That is, they were write-once, just like film. Thankfully, CD-RW discs soon arrived, allowing you to 'erase' photos from the disc. The most frustrating part was the confusing 'finalization' process, which was so complex that Sony included a flow chart in the camera manual.

There were many reasons why the various Sony Mavicas were revolutionary, but the relative ease of getting photos off the camera and onto your computer is the one I remember the most.

Comments

Total comments: 223
123
Beckler8
By Beckler8 (8 months ago)

No coverage of the very first digital camera (1975) which is pretty unique, though not "consumer". Instead, an implication that apple was the first, which it wasn't - neither for digital cameras nor consumer digital cameras.

0 upvotes
MKvip Beauty
By MKvip Beauty (8 months ago)

he he, I used to own a MVC-CD1000 with the CD-Rs - I still have a hundred or so lying around gathering dust somewhere.

The cam was nice, but what I didn't realize before I bought it is the fact it didn't have a write buffer - unbelievable! You had to wait after EVERY SINGLE shot until the data was written to the CD :-(

But it produced a real nice picture quality for the time...

0 upvotes
peterblaise
By peterblaise (8 months ago)

My digital firsts: scanned film and prints on an HP ScanJet IIc in the late 80s or early 90s (?), used Panit Shop Pro, and never went back to the chemical darkroom.

While waiting for the price of full frame to come down (still hasn't!), I spent $300 on film one vacation, so I spent $300 on a used digital hoping that every shot would be free from there on.

Bought a $300 used Minolta DiMage 7 7x zoom 5mp from KEH, killed it, they refunded, bought another, killed it, got it refunded.

Bought a $250 used Minolta DiMage A1 7x zoom 5mp from KEH, killed it, Sony rebuilt it free, but I killed it again.

I bought a $150 used Minolta DiMage A2 7x zoom 8mp from KEH and it seems (finally) impregnable.

But now, even a mini-dslr-like DSL/EVF camera seems too big.

I got an $80 used Panasonic Leica TZ1 10x 5mp, and carry and use it all the time, or a $50 used Blackberry Torch 9810 5mp, or an mp3 player 1.3mp camera.

I'll probably never use my dozens of full frame film lenses now anyway.

0 upvotes
eric burrows
By eric burrows (8 months ago)

A history of DSLR's would be interesting. I still have shots taken with my first, a Minolta RD175. 3 CCD's and a whopping 1.75 Mp. Since then I have tried a lot more.

0 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (8 months ago)

What, no Canon digital Elph? I still have mine...

0 upvotes
Edward Sargent
By Edward Sargent (8 months ago)

I don't remember the name but I had a B&W digital in 1992. I think it was made by Epson. I still have pictures taken with it.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (8 months ago)

Edward,

Do your images not display any Exif data when you open them up? This could indicate which camera you had.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (8 months ago)

Re. the Casio, we got 3 of them as product placement from Casio for a feature film back in July 1995. I gave away 2, still have the 3rd one someplace. Actually, what we got was the QV-10A model that had a larger LCD screen, could take VGA resolution images, had a larger internal memory, and also had a 2-setting lens -- normal and tele. Would love to find one that makes this much sense today.

0 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (8 months ago)

Thanks for the article. An interesting trip down memory lane.

I started off digital with a Canon G2 in 2002 and in the past couple of months decided to acquire, purely for their historic interest, three Mavicas - a floppy only FD71, what I term the intermediate type using a floppy and memory card, the FD200, and finally the 5 meg CD500 and which is the one that arouses most interest when I show it to friends.

The IQ of the CD500 with its Zeiss Vario Sonnar lens I prefer to the Canon G5 that I upgraded to from the G2. In fact I also prefer its IQ to that of the 5 meg Sony DSC-V1 with which it was contemporaneous. The bulk of the CD500 isn't an issue for me today, but its very slow operational speed is. But it is great fun to use.

0 upvotes
Perry Carmichael
By Perry Carmichael (8 months ago)

Kodak DC20 had no rear LCD. My very first digital camera and I still have it. It was extremely simple: shutter/power/erase buttons, optical viewfinder, power/busy/memory full LED indicators. No options, no modes, no reviews. Just shoot until the light came on and you were done. Only held 8 0.2mp images. Those were the days. I remember using it on a trip with my son to Yellowstone. I was very selective of what I shot with it so I could make a calendar for his mom. (Scanning film was too expensive then, for me at least.)

0 upvotes
Jim Salvas
By Jim Salvas (8 months ago)

The floppy disc Mavicas and eBay came along at the same time and were meant for each other. Before that, eBay was the text-based AuctionWeb, but once pics from a relatively cheap and very easy to use camera were possible, the service burst out of its seams.

They became so entwined that years after the Mavicas were obsolete it was still nigh impossible to separate a dedicated eBay seller from his Sony.

It was a perfect camera for the application. The low resolution was no problem for on-screen pics and the great macro results went beyond expectations. And those floppies. god, how the ebayers loved those floppies.

1 upvote
sigala1
By sigala1 (8 months ago)

The Mavica may seem stupid today, but remember that computers from the 1990s didn't have USB ports, and prior to Windows XP in 2001, even if your computer did have a USB port, it didn't work unless you installed drivers for it, which probably required you to type in cryptic DOS commands.

So recording to floppy disk was a creative solution from Sony.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Maurizio1961
By Maurizio1961 (8 months ago)

of that period remember the Chinon ES-3000, the first with 560,000 Pixels.

0 upvotes
zeyno44
By zeyno44 (8 months ago)

Well lets not forget the man who is behind all of this "Digital Camera" idea. Steven Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1975. ( while he was working for Kodak) It weighed 8 pounds (3.6 kg) and had only 0.01 megapixels. The image was recorded onto a cassette tape and this process took 23 seconds. His camera took images in black and white.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
pkeairnes
By pkeairnes (8 months ago)

This brings back memories. Back in the mid-90's, I worked with many of these early digital cameras, integrating them into a system for mobile insurance adjusters (think hurricanes) to submit fully electronic claims (with photos) to the insurance companies. Each camera had its own unique method of getting photos onto the computer. Some used cables and TWAIN API, some had proprietary libraries, and some used disks or PC cards -- it was a huge pain. But insurance adjusters fell in love with these early digital cameras, because it meant no more daily trips to get film developed, which meant they could process more claims each day and therefore earn more.

0 upvotes
CanadianCoolpix
By CanadianCoolpix (8 months ago)

Since it goes up to the year 2000, I would have included the Olympus C-2100 UZ. This camera was way ahead of its time. It had everything, including a 10X optical zoom with stabilization. Electronic viewfinder.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc2100uz/2

2 upvotes
Brian Steele
By Brian Steele (8 months ago)

Agreed!

0 upvotes
CNY_AP
By CNY_AP (8 months ago)

We (sort of) had a digital camera in high school in 1987 or 1988. It took many seconds to scan the images...around 20-60 seconds, so you had to sit very still. :-) I can't recall what it was, and I was just a kid...

0 upvotes
CNY_AP
By CNY_AP (8 months ago)

Kodak DC360 was competitive and I almost bought it, but ended up buying the Olympus C3000 ($800 for 3MP). That was 1999, but I had followed digital cameras for a year before buying one - when the various sites were just coming online.
I think it was steves-digicams who used to give prizes at multiples of 100k page hits (which took quite awhile to reach!).

0 upvotes
speculatrix
By speculatrix (8 months ago)

My first digicam was the Olympus C3040Z, and I think it cost me about $800 with a 128MB smartmedia card.
The key reason I bought it was that the quality and resolution had reached that tipping point where you could take a picture, crop and scale it and it would look really good on a 1280x1024 monitor, or print it at 10x8 and be quite pleased with it.

The C3040Z had an amazing feature set, and when I gave it away to a friend who was very poor but very keen to try digital photography, there were many features on the Olympus that my replacement camera, a Canon A710IS, lacked.

0 upvotes
RCicala
By RCicala (8 months ago)

Every so often, I read an article and think, "man, I wish I'd thought of writing something like that." This is one of those. I enjoyed it immensely.

My first digital camera was actually an Apple QuickTake 100, which shows you how old I am.

Roger Cicala

4 upvotes
RodgerLCarter
By RodgerLCarter (8 months ago)

Check out dchis.com.

0 upvotes
the-bunker
By the-bunker (8 months ago)

My first digital camera was in late 1997 early 1998 - the Minolta Dimage V with 2.7x manual zoom & 640x480 resolution.

http://www.rvharvey.com/dimagev.htm
http://www.manualslib.com/manual/89971/Minolta-Dimage-V.html#manual

It actually took great photos (in good light)

In the pre-digital camera era (1994) I used a Canon still video camera & a video capture card. The capture card alone cost £400 & could capture images at 320x240.

0 upvotes
fortwodriver
By fortwodriver (8 months ago)

I still have a Casio QV-10A and the proprietary cable and even the power-cube so you could use it without batteries. I remember when the music store I hung out at bought it - $800 Canadian dollars at the time and it was considered a bargain!

We also had a Sony thermal video printer we could plug it into with an RCA video cable. I think the printer was about $3000.

An awful lot of "sefies" were taken with that camera because you could flip the lens around backwards and it would automatically "right" the photograph upright.

I powered the camera up the other day - it still works - barely. After a while QV-10 cameras had an issue with their sprung sliding on switch. The camera would randomly switch off.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
pictureAngst
By pictureAngst (8 months ago)

Great article, but in the final thoughts you might want to change 'detachable lenses' to 'detachable LCDs''

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (8 months ago)

Whoops. Fixed, thanks.

0 upvotes
Paul P Boyd
By Paul P Boyd (8 months ago)

I remember my first ever use of a digital camera back in 1994/5 was an Apple Quick Take 100 digital camera with a 640 X 480 pixel image, from memory I think it only allowed about 10 or 12 shots?. It was a revelation as it was the first time I was able to use images straight onto a computer. I was shooting with medium format at the time as was less than impressed with the quality but just loved the fact that you could go straight to a document and insert the image instantly.

1 upvote
NilTox
By NilTox (8 months ago)

HI, I still have mine, fully boxed! It says £606 on the side label (10/08/94). I remember my son using it in a Primary School project (had to collect signs and logos), he photo'd them and printed them out via our Mac Performa. The teacher rejected the project because he'd used a digital camera and computer!!

0 upvotes
Ian
By Ian (8 months ago)

Hell 1997 we saw the release of the Nikon Coolpix 100, I remember it well, dealers were frightened by the thought of digital cameras, now look.
Nikon had also released some years before the Nikon E2 and E3 what a Dinosaurs they were fantastic era, but my how technology has moved on. The E2 and E3 took PCMCA cards, that were hellishly expensive at about £12 per meg, so a 64 mb card was really expensive. The camera took Nikon MF lenses, it was just very slow to download images.
Canon were really no where at this time..

1 upvote
gordzam
By gordzam (8 months ago)

Check Canon Here in 1996:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_PowerShot

0 upvotes
Ian
By Ian (8 months ago)

There was also a Coolpix 300, it had a write on screen and voice notes with each image, the sad point is that penlight batteries did not last more than about one hour and then were very hot and very flat

0 upvotes
Ian
By Ian (8 months ago)

I actually think that the Coolpix 100 was a lot arlier than 1997 and certainly the E2 and E3 were 1993 ish as this was a memorable period in my life

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (8 months ago)

yes, I had the Casio QV-10B (1995/1996)
it sure ate up 4AA batteries fast
an 60mm equivalent fov was ridiculously too long for wide scenery or in close spaces wider portraits

people gave me a weird look wondering if my live preview (autogain, with limited compensation) was a videocam, and wondered where was the recording tape cassette! but it was a truly digital stills previewing camera that even later mfrs didn't include LV in their dcams or dSLRs till several iterations later

rotating LCD from lens was flexible for different perspective shooting without eyes confined behind the camera body

I carried it along with my Canon T90 SLR 20-48mm f3.5/5.6 Tamron SP lens at the time (shooting Fuji Hi-G ISO 800 film), 4AA batteries lasted more frames on a T90 than on the energy thirsty QV10 live preview!

digital back then could never compare to film except for its instantaneous results

PowerShot G1 was my 1st serious prosumer dcam that finally allowed me to leave my film SLR T90 at home

1 upvote
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (8 months ago)

QV10B software allowed one to convert files to either 320x240 or 640x480 bmp files, the latter were huge files for it's day, one couldn't fit much on a floppy diskette till dos allowed more space higher double density disks with up to 1.4mb capacity!
lol

0 upvotes
BrianCaylor
By BrianCaylor (8 months ago)

I'd like to have seen the Gameboy Camera accessory on the list. As a kid, that was my first digital camera!

1 upvote
Greg Henry
By Greg Henry (8 months ago)

I think the Olympus 2100 UZ deserves the award though for one of the best cameras of that time period. I still have one today that works perfectly and while I really don't use it, will always keep it for the sake of nostalgia. Excellent zoom, lens, and features for that time.

It included those little extras that were considered high-end then like a beam to help the focusing, threaded lens for filters, and image stabilization. And back then camera makers only came out with 3-4 new models per year, max, and took the time to test the stuff before shipping it out - today they use consumers as testers who report bugs and glitches that have to be fixed with firmware later. A different time, for sure.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (8 months ago)

soooo glad to see the end of memory sticks

2 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (8 months ago)

I remember seeing these things in the trade publications, in some camera stores, and even in the hands of some early adopters. I knew this was the wave of the future and that film would be left in the weeds sooner or later (just didn't think it would happen as fast as it did!). I remember tuning them out for two reasons: they were so damn expensive for what you got, and they didn't have a flash hotshoe or PC contact so I couldn't use them in my studio... what I really wanted was instant feedback during shoots without the use of Polaroids. I remember having a deep sense of joy and anticipation when the early digitals began sporting hotshoes and maybe a PC contact... Like the Canon Sureshot G1 and G2 and Kodak 280 (I think). The price was still prohibitive. Then Canon with it's landmark D30, D60, 10D and finally 20D brought digital down to earth!

0 upvotes
fpapp
By fpapp (8 months ago)

I think the Olympus C-211 deserves mention.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2000/7/25/c211zoom

A friend had one back in the day, and I remember thinking it was such a cool camera to have the ability to print instant photos from the digital files!

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (8 months ago)

I agree!!! I purchased one of these landmark marvels at a thriftstore about five years ago for $15 ... used it (digital file only) for about a dozen shots (Polaroid was gone)... pulled it out a few months ago, shot a few more pics then tossed it into the trash... a great camera but I need to clean out my gear drawers. My friends purchased these marvels for $600 back in 2000!

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (8 months ago)

Don't worry, the C-211 will be in part 2!

0 upvotes
BillGarrett
By BillGarrett (8 months ago)

Interesting article. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Jeff.

To those complaining about how ugly or unconventionally shaped these cameras are, please consider: In this first wave of digital cameras, designers struggled with limitations in storage, battery, and display technology that made it difficult to package digital cameras in compact shapes. The odd, bulky physical designs were created out of engineering necessity, not as a product of some misguided desire to discard conventional design the sake of being different.

I expect that Part 2 will illustrate how, by 2001, digital camera technologies had been refined enough that manufacturers were able to produce consumer level cameras shaped like traditional compacts, that could fit in a jacket pocket. You'll see a design convergence across the industry in the early 2000s.

4 upvotes
J Parker
By J Parker (8 months ago)

Another suggestion for part 2 -- the Pentax Optio S. It was so small that you could use an Altoids tin as a camera case (which is exactly what Pentax did when they revealed the camera at 2003's Consumer and Electronics Show). With decent image quality and the ability to use it as digital audio recorder, 3D and Panorama modes, it still makes a nice pocket camera at its $20 price these days.

0 upvotes
Paul P Boyd
By Paul P Boyd (8 months ago)

That was an amazing little camera. I was a teacher at the time and it was brilliant for taking pictures of students work and print out to put into their portfolios to show progression. Fond memories that is until another teacher borrowed it and had it stollen, not so fond a memory

0 upvotes
Expat Nomad
By Expat Nomad (8 months ago)

I was drooling over a Minolta Vectis RD-3000 at this stage of the game, having the S-1 system.
Fun (expensive) stuff.

0 upvotes
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (8 months ago)

One wonders how digital photography didn't die early looking at these camera's.

0 upvotes
Maoby
By Maoby (8 months ago)

If you want to see
A mini history of digital cameras (1991-2012)
"self-portrait"
it is here :)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maoby/sets/72157631872235223/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maoby/sets/72157627624479529/

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (8 months ago)

Nikon Coolpix 100... made as much sense as people shooting photos with iPads these days.

1 upvote
DukeCC
By DukeCC (8 months ago)

I always liked the Sony Mavica with the floppy drive. I used one at work quite a bit. It p!ssed me off when they went to the CD-R!

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (8 months ago)

No mention of the EPiX Pro... amazing :)

But the Fotoman is HUGELY important.

0 upvotes
Ocolon
By Ocolon (8 months ago)

Correction for the Mavica part of the article: A CD-ROM isn't writable by definition, ROM standing for read-only memory.

0 upvotes
guitarist
By guitarist (8 months ago)

what about the Logitech PhotoMan....
two models...I had the updated one so...the second model...
https://www.google.com/search?q=logitech+fotoman&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=4egUUomHMOeBiwLH4YHQBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CC0QsAQ&biw=1536&bih=815

......which I still have somewhere....
B/w......

anyone remember that?

I even had an add-on lens or two for it....

my 5d3 is a little better..... though....

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rexyinc
By Rexyinc (8 months ago)

my first digital was the batman styled Polaroid PDC-3000!.. 1996 lols

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/P3K/P3KA.HTM

first pro bodied studio camera ( the studio brought three of them at $30k each lols ) was the 2001 Kodak DCS760 6mp nikon pro body monster.. dropped it on my foot once.. OUCHES! haha.. still in use at that old studio up until just a couple of years ago lols.. boss wouldn't upgrade them until he went out of business stating they never paid for themselves and he was still paying them all off.. sucker..

0 upvotes
bigrig
By bigrig (8 months ago)

Sonar autofocus!?!

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (8 months ago)

That one just missed the cut. The batmobile camera.

0 upvotes
BlackThisledHalo
By BlackThisledHalo (8 months ago)

I still own my Casio QV-10A, along with a number of lens adaptors (wide angle, magnified, etc.). I bought it new in '95 or '96 (I believe) for $500 and used it for several years. The camera still works good as new (aside from the battery cover which won't stay shut).

The only "major" issue I have with the QV-10A is no longer owning the proprietary cable needed to download images. I got around it (somewhat) by using the video cable to download the images as a movie into Sony Vegas so I could extract individual frames.

0 upvotes
Scales USA
By Scales USA (8 months ago)

My First Digital Camera was a Fujiifilm MX-700 that I bought in 1998. 2.2 mp, and for the time was among the best. We had a Olympus C-860L? A battery eater, but it was a great camera.

I replaced the Fujifilm with a Nikon CP-990, and later with the first Canon Rebel DSLR.

A few years ago, I bought a used Kodak DCS460D from 1995. Its original $35,000 price was out of ordinary mortal reach, but I paid $100.

1 upvote
Simon97
By Simon97 (8 months ago)

I bought an Epson PhotoPC in early 1996. I chose it over the QV-10 because it had 640x480 resolution over the QV-10's 320x240. The Epson lacked a view screen and battery life was ~20 shots!

In the early 90's my employer bought a Canon still digital camera that took these mini "video floppy disks". It had 640x480 resolution, had a proprietary interface card that was installed in the computer's internal expansion slot. It made very good pictures for the resolution but it was very expensive. Hard to believe that was over 20 years ago now.

0 upvotes
Richphoto
By Richphoto (8 months ago)

Perhaps one of the most important cameras for the pro photohrapher was the Kodak DCS460. Many pros cut their digital teeth on that one.

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (8 months ago)

We still use the Kodak in a specialized, essentially embedded application, with a UV setup. It's all controlled by a turn of the century PowerBook running OS9.

It's gotten quirky over the years but generally still works OK. Support, however, vanished a decade ago.

0 upvotes
Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (8 months ago)

In 1990(!) I purchased a Canon RC250 "Xapshot", a still video camera (which I have to this day!) It used a tiny lead-acid battery, and recorded analog images to a 2" special floppy disk. One could view the output on a television, or use a "capture board" in their computer to save a digital copy. I chose the latter (replaced with a "Snappy" years later.)
In 2001 I bought a 3mp Kodak fixed-focal-length digital camera, which was nearly as good as film for simple snapshots. Still have that, of course!
I was certainly ahead of the curve in digitizing stuff, what with scanners and a capture board, but I didn't really switch over until 2002, when the Canon EOS-1Dinosaur came out. $5400, plus a grand for a couple of microdisks! I still have one of those in my collection.

2 upvotes
Wodheila
By Wodheila (8 months ago)

Still have my Fuji 'MX500' (1.5MP) that used those SmartMedia cards.

0 upvotes
Fogsprig
By Fogsprig (8 months ago)

Call me crazy, but I've bought Oly C2100 three months ago. Works amazingly great for me.

3 upvotes
bbor
By bbor (8 months ago)

First electronic (not digital) cameras in the '80s:

http://direp.hu/en/elektronikus-fenykepezogepek/

Has anyone used one of these? :)

0 upvotes
Chris2210
By Chris2210 (8 months ago)

Didn't use one of those, but did use an Apple quicktake 150, which looks like it was based on this design. They were essentially 'still video' cameras and the quality was truly awful - really very much like digitising a video still. Very low res, poor sensitivity and chromatic aberration visible in anything high-contrast, which considering they had very little in the way of dynamic range, was on most shots.

Everyone in the office wanted a go and there was a waiting list to use it. Marvelous.

0 upvotes
RedRockRed
By RedRockRed (6 months ago)

Has anyone mentioned the PalmPix attachment to the Palm? An unseeable low res screen, way too little memory, plus a touch screen shutter button that almost always blurred the pic. I have one buried in a drawer somewhere.

http://3.static.img-dpreview.com/files/news/1250352283/palmpix2.jpg?v=2505

0 upvotes
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